West Cork Distillers logo with fish and snake emblem.

West Cork Distillers

  • Ireland
  • Best New Marketing Campaign Award (2023), EY Industry Entrepreneur of the Year (2020)
  • https://www.westcorkdistillers.com/
Phone Number
  • +3532822815
  • Marsh Rd, Marsh, Skibbereen, Co. Cork, P81 YY31, Ireland

West Cork Distillers building exterior with illuminated signage.


History of West Cork Distillers

West Cork Distillers (WCD) was established in 2003 by childhood friends John O’Connell, Ger McCarthy, and Denis McCarthy. It emerged during a period when launching a distillery was economically challenging. The distillery’s humble beginnings were marked by operating from a room at the back of Denis’ house in Union Hall, equipped with two small stills purchased from a schnapps producer in Switzerland.

Transition and Growth

In 2014, a significant milestone was achieved with the move to a new facility in Skibbereen. This transition marked the beginning of a new era for WCD, expanding its operations and capabilities.

Current Operations

WCD currently operates from a 12.5-acre site on Marsh Road, boasting a distillation capacity of 4 million liters of pure alcohol. The distillery has seen a consistent rise in case sales over the past six years. It is supported by a workforce of over 80 employees, primarily based in West Cork. This growth reflects the company’s commitment to the local community and the sustainable employment it provides.

Global Reach

The distillery’s flagship product, West Cork Irish Whiskey, has achieved global recognition. Distributed in almost 70 countries, it stands as a testament to the distillery’s success and international appeal. This expansion underlines WCD’s commitment to making Irish whiskey accessible worldwide while staying true to its Irish ownership and West Cork heritage.

Looking Ahead

With a vision set on future expansion, WCD aims to maintain its Irish ownership and honor its West Cork roots. The opening of the new distillery positions WCD as the largest, wholly Irish-owned distillery in the country. Plans for more jobs, new products, and additional warehouses are underway to meet the rising demand.

Sustainability and Community Involvement

WCD’s approach to business is deeply rooted in community values and sustainability. The company partners with local service providers and contributes to the Irish economy. This commitment extends to respecting the diversity and talents of its employees and fostering a respectful and innovative work environment.

West Cork Distillers is a remarkable story of determination, growth, and success in the Irish whiskey industry. From its modest start in Union Hall to becoming an internationally recognized brand, WCD exemplifies the spirit of innovation and commitment to quality that defines West Cork’s rich tradition in artisan food and beverage production.

Awards Won by West Cork Distillers

Best New Marketing Campaign Award (2023): The Spirits Business Awards 2023 recognised West Cork Irish Whiskey’s Casked Conversations campaign as the Best New Marketing Campaign. This campaign was celebrated for its storytelling approach, which fostered a genuine connection between the brand and its audience.

EY Industry Entrepreneur of the Year (2020): John O’Connell, co-founder of West Cork Distillers, was named the EY Industry Entrepreneur of the Year in 2020. This award acknowledges significant entrepreneurial achievements in the industry.

Outstanding Achievement Award: At an event honouring Irish distillers, West Cork Distillers won an award for outstanding achievement. This award is a testament to the company’s impact on the industry and its successful global presence.

What To Do Nearby West Cork Distillers

Healy Pass: A scenic drive through the Caha mountain range, offering breathtaking views and a sense of untouched natural beauty. This drive is a must for those who enjoy picturesque landscapes.

Bull Rock: For an adrenaline-filled adventure, consider a boat tour around Bull Rock, famous for its dramatic appearance and sea views.

Priest’s Leap: A challenging yet rewarding drive offering panoramic views of Bantry Bay and the Caha Mountains. Suitable for confident drivers.

Islands Exploration: West Cork is surrounded by beautiful islands like Sherkin, Bere, Whiddy, and Cape Clear, each offering unique experiences from historical sites to stunning beaches.

Bantry House and Gardens: A historical house with beautifully manicured gardens, perfect for a leisurely stroll and enjoying the grandeur of the past.

Michael Collins House: A museum in Clonakilty dedicated to the Irish revolutionary leader, offering insights into his life and the Irish independence movement.

Sheep’s Head Peninsula: Known for its walking trails, stunning coastal views, and tranquil countryside, this area offers a serene outdoor experience.

Ring of Beara Drive: A scenic drive around the Beara Peninsula, showcasing West Cork’s stunning landscapes, even in rainy weather.

Ewe Experience in Glengarriff: An outdoor art exhibition combining gardens, waterfalls, and interactive artwork for a magical experience.

Blue Pools in Glengarriff: Ideal for swimming in natural settings, with opportunities for boat trips to see dolphins and whales.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near West Cork Distillers?

Dynasty Chinese & Asian Take Away: This restaurant has a rating of 4.0 stars. You can contact them at +353 28 23419. Their address is 31 Bridge St, Coronea, Skibbereen, Co. Cork, P81 KT67, Ireland.

Church Restaurant: It has a rating of 4.6 stars. For reservations, their contact number is +353 28 23625. The restaurant is located at Coronea, Skibbereen, Co. Cork, P81 EE95, Ireland.

The Riverside: This restaurant boasts a 4.3-star rating. You can reach out to them on their phone at +353 28 40090. Their address is 6 North St, Gortnaclohy, Skibbereen, Co. Cork, P81 N720, Ireland.

What hotels are near West Cork Distillers?

Casey’s of Baltimore Hotel: It has a rating of 4.6 stars. For reservations, you can contact them at +353 28 20197. Their address is Baltimore, Co. Cork, P81 YW66, Ireland.

The Parkway Hotel: This hotel boasts a 4.4-star rating. You can reach out to them on their phone at +353 23 884 5236. The hotel is located at Park Rd, Dunmanway South, Dunmanway, Co. Cork, Ireland.

Celtic Ross Hotel: It has a rating of 4.3 stars. For reservations, their contact number is +353 23 884 8722. The hotel’s address is Celtic Ross Hotel, Englishisland, Rosscarbery, Co. Cork, P85 WF86, Ireland.